July 12, 2019 / 8:04 AM / 3 months ago

Stewart backs Roy to open England batting during Ashes

(Reuters) - England batsman Jason Roy can strike fear in the hearts of rivals and should make his test debut in the Ashes series against Australia following his World Cup heroics, former skipper Alec Stewart has said.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - Australia v England - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 11, 2019 England's Jason Roy reacts after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Opener Roy scored 85 runs in 65 balls as England thumped Australia by eight wickets on Thursday, ending a 27-year wait to reach the World Cup final where the hosts face New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.

It was the 28-year-old Roy’s third straight half-century in the tournament and took his tally to 426 runs from six innings.

“You hate singling out one player that can make such a big difference in any sport, but it’s so obvious with Jason Roy in that team,” Stewart told Sky Sports.

“He can put fear into that opposition straight away. He’s done it in a very mature way in this tournament.

“He understands his own game ... how good he is, and he’s not going to chuck (his wicket) away which is great to see.”

The South Africa-born batsman has played more than a hundred games for England in the shorter formats since making his debut in 2014, but is yet to feature in the longest version.

Stewart was confident Roy’s consistent performances would earn him a spot in the test team for the Ashes series, which begins on Aug. 1.

“We’ll see him in the Ashes, don’t worry about that, he’ll be opening the batting for England,” said Stewart, who played 133 tests and 170 ODIs for England.

England, who are looking to reclaim the coveted urn from Australia, warm up for the five-match series with their first ever test against Ireland, which will be a four-day contest later this month.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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